Energy & Mining

The Austrian Mineral Resources Plan

The Austrian Minister of Economy prepared the Austrian Mineral Resources Plan on request of the National Council as a national master plan to secure supply of mineral resources and to serve as a planning basis for future mining activities with the federal states and municipalities in relation to their specific needs.

Developing the Austrian Minerals Resources Plan systematic identification and evaluation of mineral deposits with regard to their protection-worthiness was carried out (stage/phase one) followed by a second phase "conflict-elimination" with collaboration of the federal states to eliminate any protection conflicts caused by the mineral zones which had been objectively identified using systematic analysis methods in particular.

The task of stage two was to identify conflict free "mineral zones" (with other properties protected by law e.g. residential areas, national parks, water management priority zones, landscape protection areas, forests, Natura 2000 areas).

Methodology of preparation conflict free mineral protection zones (Sand & Gravel deposits)

Proven conflict-free zones were delivered to the provincial governments as the land use management authorities. Distinguished mineral zones are to be declared as “mineral protection zones” for land use planning purposes. In defining mineral protection zones, special attention will be given ensuring an adequate regional supply of raw building materials found close to the surface for several generations.

Due to the individual groups of raw materials (i.e. sands, gravels, solid rock varieties, high-quality carbonates, clays, industrial minerals, ores and energy raw materials) specific methods of evaluation were developed.

Responsiblity for securing the supply of minerals is an issue of private enterprise.

Considering this, the public administration within the framework of the Austrian Mineral Resources Plan performed the groundwork required in preparation of activities by private enterprise, Groundwork not only goes far beyond the remit and resources of private enterprise but is also regarded as a vital task within the context of an active raw materials policy.

The European Commission observed the efforts leading to the Austrian Mineral Resources Plan with peculiar interest and. published a communication "Raw Materials Initiative" in November 2008, which was greatly appreciated by stakeholders and Member States. The communication cited the Austrian Mineral Resource Plan as an example of best practice in the area of land use planning for safeguarding the supply of mineral resources.

The Austrian Mineral Resources Plan strives to achieve a broad consensus among the federal government, the federal states and businesses specifically active in this field. It thus represents an important contract across generations for safeguarding the supply of mineral resources.

A detailed publication "The Austrian Mineral Resources Plan" can be purchased via the following link:

The Austrian Mineral Resources Plan

or can be downloaded as a pdf-file:

The Austrian Mineral Resources Plan


Division Minerals Policy:

Last Modified: 20.05.2015 09:51